Down Under chords by Men At Work


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Down Under | Chords + Lyrics


Intro

||: Bm A | Bm G A :||

Verse 1

||: Bm A | Bm G A :||
Traveling in a fried-out Kombi.
On a hippie trail, head full of zombie.
I met a strange lady, she made me nervous.
And she took me in and gave me breakfast, and she said:

Chorus 1

||: D A | Bm G A :||
Do you come from a land down under?
Where women glow and men plunder.
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover.

Instrumental 1

||: Bm A | Bm G A :||

Verse 2

||: Bm A | Bm G A :||
Buying bread from a man in Brussels.
He was six-foot-four and full of muscle.
I said, “Do you speak-a my language?”
And he just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich, and he said:

Chorus 2

||: D A | Bm G A :||
I come from a land down under.
Where beer does flow and men chunder.
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover, yeah.

Instrumental 2

||: Bm A | Bm G A :|| x6

Verse 3

||: Bm A | Bm G A :||
Lyin’ in a den in Bombay.
With a slack jaw, and not much to say.
I said to the man, “Are you trying to tempt me?
Because I come from the land of plenty”, and he said:

Chorus 3

||: D A | Bm G A :||
Do you come from a land down under? (Oh, yeah, yeah).
Where women glow and men plunder.
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder? (Ah-ha).
You better run, you better take cover.

Chorus 4

||: D A | Bm G A :||
(‘Cause we are) Living in a land down under.
Where women glow and men plunder.
(Can) Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder? (thunder)
You better run, you better take cover.

Chorus 5

||: D A | Bm G A :||
Living in a land down under.
Where women glow and men plunder.
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder? (Oh, yeah)
You better run, you better take cover.

Chorus 6

||: D A | Bm G A :||
(We are) Living in a land down under (oh yea).
Where women glow and men plunder.
(Yeah, yeah) Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder? (Yeah, yeah, thunder).
You better run, you better take cover.

Chorus 7

||: D A | Bm G A :||
Living in a land down under (Living in a land down under).
Where women glow and men plunder.
(Oh) Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover.



Down Under Chords: Learn the progressions


Down Under guitar lesson + TAB T

Based on the extremely simple idea of resolving from IV – V (#2 on the top 10 chord progression list) to VI or to I, Down Under’s verse chords move like this:

||: Bm (VI) A (V) | Bm (VI) G (IV) A (V) :||

Whereas the chorus chords are:

||: D (I) A (V) | Bm (VI) G (IV) A (V) :||

This variation of resolving to either a Bm chord or a D chord is so simple but so effective, just a slight tweak like this makes the chorus triumphant, and the verse reflective.

This is also mirrored in the lyrics. Perhaps most importantly, the underlying humour is necessary to make all this work.

Without the fun-loving cheeky side to it (flute helps!) it wouldn’t have worked as well as it did. The charm of Down Under and its appeal is down to that it’s fun.

To write a good, memorable song that is fun, is not easy – Men At Work’s Down Under may be one of the best examples of how to do this well.

Here’s some TAB for how you could play the verse on just one guitar, without the help of a band.

Down Under chords and TAB, verse idea 1.

This part doesn’t sound great, it’s a starting point to understand the chords. Members develop this part by varying the bass line and creating space using 4 more verse examples and 5 chorus examples.

We also look at playing that flute melody, which is incredibly intricate!

Here’s a link to the complete lesson: Down Under – Guitar Lesson with TAB.



Down Under is Australia’s signature song!

Australian Men At Work formed during ‘79 in their native Melbourne out of an acoustic duo that grew into a band with the unusual addition of a Saxophonist who also played the flute.

The flute proved to be a masterstroke as it would make their biggest hit stand out!

Starting out playing the pub circuit, they soon found themselves to be the most popular band around and quickly signed with CBS to release their first album, Business As Usual in ‘81.

Down Under was the second single off the debut. As a single, it reached the #1 spot, which the album managed as well, a first for an Australian act in the U.S.

The band did release more singles that performed reasonably well, but nothing matched Down Under which after a few years reached worldwide recognition.

By ‘84, the internal conflict got the better of the group, eventually resulting in a solo career for the singer, Colin Hay.

Even though Down Under was an enormous success, Men At Work was no one-hit-wonder band.

Their New Wave-sounding pop was part of an early 80’s sound alongside bands such as The Police, New Order, Culture Club, Martha and the Muffins, and The Cure. Perhaps less punk than some of their contemporary bands, they sold 30 million albums.

Study the seemingly simple chords and lyrics to see how this worldwide smash hit was put together.



Down Under Chords | Related Pages


Intermediate Acoustic

There are many more Intermediate Acoustic Songs with chords similar to Down Under.

Most intermediate acoustic tunes can’t be played using just basic open-position chords. We have to move up the fretboard and play CAGED barre chords as well.

We incorporate bass lines, add licks, extend chords, and play vocal melodies. Most importantly, we’ll invent second guitar parts and play these songs together.


Five similar tunes with chords and lyrics

When you can play Down Under's chords, try these five tunes from the songbook.


Men At Work tunes

Men At Work wrote Down Under.

Men At Work composed the hilarious Down Under which managed to become a #1 single and album in the U.S. No other Australian artist or band has managed this before or since.

Down Under has even gone on to become Australia’s signature song.


Men At Work on the web

Listen to Men At Work on Spotify.


Reggae & Ska

When you can play Down Under, check out these Reggae and Ska tunes as well.

Originating from Jamaica as Reggae & Ska, these musical styles were largely made popular once records started to appear in the U.K.

Learn tunes from Bob Marley, Madness, Sting, Stevie Wonder, Afroman, 10cc, Men At Work, The Police, and many more.


Pop & Rock

There are many more Pop & Rock tunes with chords similar to Down Under.

Whenever a tune doesn’t fit into a specific genre, it tends to end up here, in the Pop & Rock section.

Learn tunes from Tom Petty, Eagles, Toto, Oasis, Elvis, Clapton, John Mayer, Kings Of Leon, R.E.M., Radiohead, Bruno Mars, and more.



About me | Dan Lundholm

Dan Lundholm wrote this guitar lesson about Down Under's chords.

This was a guitar lesson about Down Under chords, by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and learn guitar with Spytunes.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.


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